World premiere musical opens tonight

The world premiere of “Shiner Watson,” a musical comedy, will be staged this weekend at the Hillsboro-Deering Middle School.

A combination of veteran Hillcat Theatre players and newcomers have been cast in this show based on a 1929 novel by the same title written by Washington resident Macgregor Jenkins.

Jenkins was famous in his day for a number of activities including being baby sat and immortalized in verse by Emily Dickinson, being the long-time publisher of “The Atlantic Monthly,” and being the author of 17 books and hundreds of magazine articles. He also was a summer resident of Washington for many years often commuting to New Hampshire from his publishing and theater work in Boston on a weekly basis.

“Shiner Watson” is a Tom Sawyer like tale set in turn of the century New England.

In their original musical comedy, Will Ogmundson and Tom Dunn have focused on one chapter of the book — a play within a musical — giving the cast the opportunity to either be in the onstage audience or play two roles, both their real New England character, and the play within the musical character, ranging from a sycamore tree, to a know-it-all-maid, to a wicked witch, to a handsome count.

Performances will be Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.

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